Sky to roll out tailored ad content to rich viewers
Tractor ads for farmers, Ferrari ads for city slickers or mid-life crisis sufferers, stairlifts and cruises for oldies, Furbies for kids, luxury holidays aimed at loaded moneybags – Sky is introducing individual personalised TV advertising dedicated especially to you.
The spooky big-brother tailored telly ad technology hones in on what you eat, wear, drive, where you bank, how you spend and more.
Called SmartAd, it has launched in Britain with an Irish rollout on the way.
It works by sending personalised ads aimed at your household to your SkyBox ahead of ad breaks. When a programme cuts to ads, your SkyBox shows only adverts specially matched with what it thinks you're into.
The prospectus aimed at advertisers offers an array of targets – lifestyle, financial, citydwellers, countryside dwellers, home owners, affluent households, and more.
A redbrick status home on Ailesbury Road might see ads for posh conservatories, while a farming family in Monaghan sees fertiliser messages, all during the same ad break.
Sky will mine information from third parties like consumer marketing information company Experian to build up its profile, potentially, of whether you have a fancy car, whether you shop at Aldi or Tesco, and your credit card habits to strategically sell to you.
With an estimated 700,000 SkyBoxes in Irish homes – or 40 per cent of the population – the potential reach is massive, though viewers can choose to opt out.
Sky hopes it will boost ads with bluechip and local business advertisers. Over 40 big-name brands have signed up including Tesco, Audi, American Airlines and Littlewoods and Bank of Scotland and it has already brought brand advertisers that had left television advertising back to the market, including chocolate maker Nestle and sweet brand Polo.
The new service "helps both the brands that previously thought TV too broad a medium, as well as local advertisers who felt that TV wasn't previously accessible to them", Sky commercial business boss Andrew Griffith said.
"This is a very exciting development for both consumers and advertisers. Launched in Britain last week, we are looking at offering the service in Ireland in 2015," Sky Ireland boss Mark Deering said.
The Sky plan follows Channel 4's move to sell dedicated Irish market advertising on its channels, which started this month.